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Count Basie – Blues By Basie (1950)

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Count Basie – Blues By Basie (1950)

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1. Tootie
2. How Long Blues
3. Way Back Blues
4. Blues (I Still Think of Her)
5. Harvard Blues
6. Bugle Blues
7. Take Me Back, Baby
8. The Golden Bullet
9. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
10. Royal Garden Blues
11. I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town
12. Bluebeard Blues
Count Basie Orchestra: Alto Saxophone – Earle Warren, Jack Washington, Tab Smith Baritone Saxophone – Jack Washington, Serge Chaloff Bass – Jimmy Lewis, Walter Page Clarinet – Buddy DeFranco Drums – Buddy Rich, Gus Johnson, Jo Jones Guitar – Freddie Green Organ – Count Basie Piano – Count Basie Tenor Saxophone – Buddy Tate, Charlie Rouse, Don Byas, Lester Young, Wardell Gray Trombone – Benny Morton, Dan Minor, Dicky Wells, Eli Robinson, Bob Scott, Vic Dickenson Trumpet – Al Killian, Buck Clayton, Clark Terry, Ed Lewis, Harry Edison, Shad Collins


Possibly inspired by Count Basie's renewed activity at Verve Records in the mid-'50s, Columbia raided its vaults to assemble this thematic album, consisting of a dozen blues cuts dating between 1939 and 1950. The mix of late-'30s/early-'40s big-band swing and 1950-era small group sides makes this a fascinating document of two phases of Basie's career. The album opens with a bang, with "Tootie," a fast and lean small group track that offers hot solo spots by Basie at the piano, Buddy De Franco on clarinet, tenor man Charlie Rouse, and drummer Gus Johnson. The album then jumps back 11 years to the band's cover of Leroy Carr's "How Long Blues," featuring a great vocal by Jimmy Rushing and a nice trade-off of riffs between the trumpets (featuring Harry "Sweets" Edison and Buck Clayton) and the trombones. "Way Back Blues," "Bugle Blues," and "Royal Garden Blues" are cuts originally credited to the "All-American Rhythm Section" in 1942, prominently featuring Basie in a smaller group setting. Rushing reappears on the rollicking "Blues (I Still Think of Her)," from 1941, which owes a little bit of its structure to "One O'Clock Jump"; "Harvard Blues," a slow, swinging blues that offers a beautiful extended opening baritone sax solo by Jack Washington; the group's swing rendition of Casey Bill Weldon's "I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town"; "Take Me Back Baby," which offers the trumpets and tenor saxes a chance to shine; and the mournful "Nobody Knows," the latter dating from 1939 and featuring Basie on the organ. The producers save the most interesting cut, "Bluebeard Blues," for last -- recorded in 1950, it shows Basie in some of the most involved playing of this period, and the group (including Buddy Rich at the drums) pushing their considerable inventiveness. ---Bruce Eder, Rovi

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 02 September 2014 20:54)


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